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It’s Half Time, South Africa Coach Tells Super Falcons After Defeat In Abuja








As South Africa defeats the Nigeria Super Falcons team, the Banyana Banyana of South Africa head coach, Desiree Ellis, has warned the Super Falcons of Nigeria that the 2024 Summer Olympics qualification tie is not over.



On Friday, April 5, the Banyana Banyana of South Africa were at the MKO Abiola stadium in Abuja to take on the Super Falcons of Nigeria in the first leg of the 2024 Olympics qualifiers third round.





A first-half goal from the penalty spot via the boots of Rasheedat Ajibade earned the Super Falcons a slim 1-0 win over the reigning African champions.



The tie will be decided in the second leg which will take place in Pretoria on Tuesday, April 9. All the Super Falcons need in the game is either a draw or a win, while the South African team must record a win to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.





After the 1-0 defeat to the Super Falcons, Desiree Ellis who led Banyana Banyana to the 2022 African women’s championship victory stressed that her team will bounce back in the return leg.



“Look, I said before the game, it was going to be a tight game. We said that the result over two legs will be what matters”, Ellis told reporters in Abuja.



“We feel we’re still in the game, we created a couple of chances. A penalty decided the match but the tie is not over. I thought in the second half we raised our game a lot, and created a few chances.





“We could have equalized and maybe won a penalty at the end. But I’m proud of the team. And we’ll take it back. To Pretoria.”



She added, “Obviously, going to have a look at the footage and see where we can exploit the Falcons in the second leg. Because I thought defensively, we were really sound. And up until that moment from the penalty, we created a couple of chances. We also had a lot of players coming back from injury.



“Not having played 90 minutes. And I thought we got a lot out of them. So they are better in their legs now and be better in the second leg. But as Tembi Kagtlana said, for us, it’s half-time. We still have another half to go.”


Nigerian -London Based Boxer, Sherif Lawal dies after knocked out during professional boxing debut





Sherif Lawal, a London-based boxer, died after collapsing in the ring during his professional debut on Sunday.


Lawal, 29, faced Malam Varela in the opening event of a four-fight show produced by Costakis Evangelou at Harrow Leisure Centre.


The fight was scheduled to last six rounds. Varela landed a right hand on Lawal’s temple in the fourth round, causing him to slump to the canvas.


Referee Lee Every began counting but noticed Lawal was in distress and promptly interrupted the match.


According to a BoxingScene insider at ringside, the fight was well contested until the end of the third round, when Lawal was startled by “a right hand over the jab that landed seconds before the bell sounded.”


“They both exchanged on the bell, and the referee, Lee Every, pulled them apart. Lawal then came out with a high guard to start the fourth; he looked fine. He took the right hand to the temple, and his back was to the ropes; he spanked around and then fell on his haunches.”


His trainer, CJ Hussein, cared for his ailing boxer as the British Boxing Board of Control’s ringside doctors and paramedics performed CPR for “10–15 minutes” before using a defibrillator for several minutes in the ring.


He was brought to the neighbouring Northwick Park hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a heart attack.


BoxingScene spoke with Robert Smith, the General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control.


“It’s a tragic incident, and we’re all in shock. We’re now in the process of gathering all the reports from the officials, doctors, and paramedics to attempt to ascertain exactly what happened.


“His boxing medicals were all in order, and we have a report from his GP stating he was fit and well. It’s an awful, tragic thing to happen.”


Sherif, of Islington, began boxing in 2018 and fought in the National Elite Championships last year before turning professional this year.


Hussein hailed Lawal “as a real inspiration to all the younger boxers in the gym,” according to the Camden New Journal at the time.


The British Boxing Board of Control issued a statement expressing its condolences to Sherif Lawal’s family following his tragic death.


“The thoughts of all those involved in boxing in Great Britain are with them at this difficult time.”


Warren Boxing Management, who handled Lawal, said, “We would like to send our condolences to all of Sherif’s family, friends, coaches, and all those close to him at this tragic time.”

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Ex-S’Eagles Star Tijjani Babangida Cheats Death, Loses Brother In Ghastly Accident





Tijani Babangida, the President of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN), was on Thursday involved in an auto crash in which his younger brother, Ibrahim Babangida died on the spot.

The Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games gold medalist, who was said to be the one driving ran into a moving trailer along Kaduna -Zaria Road when the accident occurred.

His former teammate, Emmanuel Babayaro, who is the General Secretary of PFAN, disclosed the incident in a statement.

According to Babayaro “Comrades! Let us be in prayers for our president, Tijani Babangida, who just had a ghastly motor accident along the Kaduna-Zaria Road.

“Ibrahim Babangida, his younger brother, died on the spot from the accident while Mr President (Babangida) and his family were taken to the hospital. May the soul of Ibrahim Babangida Rest in Peace with God, amen,” he stated.

Babayaro who confirmed the accident said, “Yes, it is true. The accident happened while they were on their way to Zaria from Kaduna,” he said.

“His brother Babangida died on the spot from the accident. The accident happened today (Thursday) this afternoon and his wife was also involved in the accident.

“He is currently admitted at Shika Hospital in Zaria, where he is receiving treatment and to the glory of God he is conscious,” he added.

The late Ibrahim, 47, a retired footballer himself, was a member of the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning Golden Eagles squad in Japan.

He featured for local sides Bank of The North, Stationery Stores and Katsina United on the domestic scene before joining Dutch side Volendam in 1997.

Corroborating the incidence, Kaduna State Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Shehu Abdullahi said, “It is true, he was travelling to Zaria when he (Tijjani Babangida ) who was driving ran into a trailer according to an eyewitness, losing his brother with himself and others in board sustaining varying degrees of injuries,” he said.

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NAN’s Okoye emerges FCT SWAN Vice Chairman





Mr Victor Okoye, a member of staff of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday emerged as the Vice Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) FCT Chapter.

Okoye was returned unopposed at the SWAN FCT Electoral Congress going on at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

He received a voice affirmation following a “Yes or Nay” session conducted by Patrick Ngwaogu, the Chairman of the SWAN Electoral Committee (SWANECO).

An elated Okoye told Newsmen that the people had spoken, adding that he was pleased and humbled by the massive support and affirmation by members of the association.

“As the saying goes, `the voice of the people is the voice of God` and so I humbly accept the mandate to serve and deploy all resources at my disposal to the service of this great association.

“I come as a breath of fresh air with a blend of youthful and positive energy. I am people-oriented and justice and equity are my watchwords“, he said.

He said he would work closely and assiduously with the incoming chairman of the association to uphold its constitution.

“We will ensure that our great association takes its rightful place in the comity of professional bodies in FCT.

“My intention is to hit the ground running from day one with a chairman who has a vision for our noble profession and one who is void of any form of prejudice, bias, sentiments or divisive tendencies.

“We will close ranks and mend fences with all stakeholders and work towards achieving our set goals and achieve the SWAN of our dreams,” he said.

Other contestants who emerged unopposed also on Friday were; Sam Ahmadu (secretary) and Niyi Busari (financial secretary).

Election into other offices namely, chairman, assistant secretary, treasurer and welfare officer will hold in the course of the congress.

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